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The DJIA today retreated from Thursday's record high, despite strong economic data from the European bloc and the strongest consumer sentiment report in more than seven years. Health stocks dragged down the index in renewed concerns about earnings outlooks.
Dow: 17,634.74, -18.05, -0.10%
S&P 500: 2,039.82, +0.49, +0.02%
Nasdaq: 4,688.54, +8.40, +0.18%
What Moved the Markets Today: U.S. consumer confidence hit its highest level since 2007, fueled by falling energy prices and general optimism about the economy. And economic data in the European Union painted a far better picture of the world's largest economic bloc than expected. France reported quarterly GDP growth of 0.3% this morning, besting expectations of 0.2%. Germany narrowly missed falling into a recession by reporting 0.1% growth for the quarter.
Now check out the day's most important market notes:
- Apple Soars: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) hit a new record high this afternoon, bouncing up to $114.19 per share. The stock is a long-time favorite of Money Morning Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson, who projected the stock will reach a pre-split level of $1,000 per share. If the stock didn't undergo a 7-1 split earlier this year, the stock would be nearing $800 per share, an all-time record by far. Get the most important info about Apple stock here.
- A Deal Is Reached: This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives again approved a bill that would push forward completion of the Keystone Pipeline. The energy infrastructure project, which would pump more than 800,000 barrels a day from Canada and the Bakken to refineries along the Gulf Coast, has been a political football since the onset of the Obama administration. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on Tuesday. The vote could put President Obama in a very difficult position during the lame-duck session. Despite the positive news, shares of TransCanada Corp. (USA) (NYSE: TRP), the pipeline's operator, slipped marginally on the day.
- What a Day: Shares of low-cost airline Virgin America Inc. (Nasdaq: VA) soared more than 30% today during its market debut. The company, founded by Sir Richard Branson, priced 13.3 million shares at $23 per share during its introduction. Virgin America said it raised roughly $306 million in the IPO.
- Time to Strike: The world's largest brick-and-mortar retailer is gearing up for a fight ahead of the retail season. A significant number of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) employees said they plan to strike on Black Friday, the national shopping day after Thanksgiving, according to reports. Demanding higher wages, spokespersons for the movement said they will protest in at least 1,600 Wal-Mart locations. Shares of Wal-Mart were unchanged on the day. The company also received a strong outlook from U.K. banking giant Barclays Plc. (NYSE ADR: BCS) Friday.
- Social Struggles: This afternoon, Standard & Poor's assigned social media giant Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) a rating of junk status on its bonds. The announcement comes as the firm attempts to continue an aggressive acquisition strategy despite periods of slow earnings growth. Despite the negative outlook on the company's debt, shares were up more than 4% on the day. Get up-to-date information on Twitter stock here.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only:
- Profit from China's Currency Move: As China continues to position itself for economic dominance, its currency will take center stage in global financial arena. There are clear and visible signs the yuan is on the march, but the financial press has seriously underreported its surge. It's an unstoppable trend, and you can profit by taking these critical steps…
- How Google Will Dominate the Future: Today, Money Morning Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson explains why Google is such an intriguing tech investment with enormous upside. This industry leader has somehow combined Warren Buffett's business genius and Google Director of Engineering Ray Kurzweil's futurist brain… and there's nothing but profit ahead for investors…
- The China Bears Are Wrong: Many talking heads in the financial news are shouting that China is a trap for investors. And every time they say that the sky is going to fall on the world's second-largest economy, the Asian nation beats back the naysayers. Of course, the critics never go away, and they've been out in abundance recently. But as our Executive Editor Bill Patalon explains today, anyone who is bearish on China is wrong. And worse, they're leaving a lot of money on the table…